The Budget Matters 2015 Summit on December 9 will focus on how progress as a society requires racial equity in policymaking, budget decisions, and the political process. The summit, organized by the Washington State Budget & Policy Center, will feature keynote speaker Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, and a panel of influential speakers. The dialogue will focus on how to ensure all Washingtonians can shape the policy decisions that affect our state, in 2016 and beyond.

“In 2016, many policies that will determine the economic future of Washington state are poised to be up for debate,” the Washington State Budget & Policy Center said in a statement. “The Washington State Budget & Policy Center is proud to be a key voice in shaping the conversation around the policies that affect our state’s vitality.”

As a co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter and founder of Dignity and Power Now, Cullors promotes law enforcement accountability and racial justice in Los Angeles and throughout the United States. She recently completed a fellowship at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, where she prepared and led a think tank on state and vigilante violence for the 2014 Without Borders Conference. She is a recipient of the 2007 Mario Savio Activist of the Year award. Cullors is an important voice on the national stage calling for an end to anti-Black racism and to racist economic and social policies, the Washington State Budget & Policy Center said.

The Budget Matters panel will talk about how we can take steps to advance racial equity in policymaking. Panelists include:

Mauricio Ayon, political director, Washington Community Action Network

Senait Brown, Black Out WA, Ending the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC) Seattle

Michael Itti, executive director, Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs

Becky Kelley, president, Washington Environmental Council

Paola Maranan, executive director, Children’s Alliance

The panel will be moderated by Lori Pfingst, research and policy director, Washington State Budget & Policy Center.


Registration, light breakfast, and networking from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Opening remarks by Budget & Policy Center Executive Director Misha Werschkul
Audience Q&A with panel
Keynote presentation by Patrisse Cullors of #BlackLivesMatter
Audience Q&A with keynote

The event happens December 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Cost is $65. Ticket purchase deadline is December 4. Scholarships and a limited number of discounted tickets for groups of eight or more are also available . Visit the event webpage for more details.

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